Stiffarm Fantasy Football League



2018 Season


Player News

Martavis Bryant WR-
Applies for reinstatement

Bryant (knee, suspension) formally applied for reinstatement Monday, Dan Graziano of reports.

ANALYSIS: Bryant announced his intent to apply for reinstatement earlier this offseason, and has now officially begun the process. The 27-year-old has reportedly worked with both the NFL and NFLPA in addressing his off the field issues. The former Pittsburgh and Oakland wideout received an indefinite suspension in mid-December of the 2018 season after violating the terms of his April 2017 conditional reinstatement. Less than two weeks before the suspension, Bryant had suffered a season-ending PCL injury. He ended the 2018 season with 19 catches for 226 yards on 27 targets across eight games.

Antonio Callaway WR-CLE
Earns Mayfield's praise

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said Callaway looked sharp during the offseason program, Andrew Gribble of the team's official website reports. "We have been very happy with how [Callaway] came back from the offseason ready to go," Mayfield said. "Just how quick he is and you can tell he has been working on his craft."

ANALYSIS: Callaway averaged 5.2 yards on 45 targets in eight games with Hue Jackson and Todd Haley running the show last season, followed by 10.3 yards on 34 targets in eight games under Freddie Kitchens, who now serves as head coach. The trade of volume for efficiency worked great from the Browns' perspective, but fantasy owners have added reason for workload concern after the team traded for Odell Beckham this offseason. With Beckham locked in for heavy target counts and Jarvis Landry manning the slot, Callaway likely needs to compete with Rashard Higgins for the third spot at wide receiver. Higgins also thrived under Kitchens last season, producing 10.6 YPT on 31 targets over the final eight games. Even if he loses the battle, Callaway would be an important part of Cleveland's roster as a No. 4 wide receiver with the ability to return kicks and punts.

Phillip Lindsay RB-DEN
Ready to go

Lindsay (right wrist) feels good to go in advance of training camp, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports. "In my mind I'm ready," Lindsay noted Monday. "I'm 100 percent."

ANALYSIS: The running back did, however, acknowledge that Denver's coaches and training staff will determine the amount of reps he takes once camp opens up Thursday. The 24-year-old joined the Broncos last season as an undrafted free agent, but the 5-foot-8, 190-pounder emerged as the team's lead back in 2018, en route to logging 192 carries for 1,037 yards and nine rushing TDs to go along with 35 catches for 241 yards and a receiving score. Lindsay heads into the coming season atop the Broncos' depth chart at his position, with Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker on hand to see complementary duty in the team's backfield.

Alex Smith QB-WAS
Sheds external fixator

Smith recently had the external fixator removed from his broken leg,'s Kevin Patra reports.

ANALYSIS: Nearly eight months after he suffered his devastating injury, Smith finally is able to shed the device that allowed his leg to heal properly. He won't be ready for football in 2019, but he's been clear about his desire to eventually resume playing. Meanwhile, Washington is set to host a three-way quarterback battle between Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins and Colt McCoy (leg).

Zay Jones WR-BUF
Gearing up for training camp

Jones (undisclosed) should be ready for the start of training camp Nate Mendelson of the Bills' official website reports.

ANALYSIS: Jones, Cole Beasley (abdomen) and Robert Foster (foot) all missed June minicamp, temporarily leaving John Brown unquestioned as the top receiving threat. It remains to be seen how the Bills divide snaps between the four wide receivers, with each boasting a reasonable case for consistent playing time. Jones led the team in targets, catches, receiving yards and touchdowns last season, but his averages of 11.6 yards per catch and 6.4 per target were far from impressive. Even his late-season TD outburst left plenty of room for doubt, with Jones catching 19 of 42 targets (45.2 percent) for 260 yards (6.2 YPT) and five scores in five December games.

Robert Foster WR-BUF
Expected back for camp

Foster (foot) should be a full go for the start of training camp, Nate Mendelson of the Bills' official website reports.

ANALYSIS: Foster missed part of June minicamp with a foot injury, but competition for snaps is his larger concern after the Bills signed John Brown and Cole Beasley (abdomen) during the offseason. With Zay Jones (undisclosed) also still around, the team has four wide receivers that can make a decent case for regular playing time.

Dak Prescott QB-DAL
Discussing new contract

Prescott and the Cowboys exchanged initial extension offers before the end of the team's offseason program, Jori Epstein of USA Today reports.

ANALYSIS: Prescott and Amari Cooper are entering contract seasons, while Ezekiel Elliott is under team control through 2020 thanks to the fifth-year option for first-round picks. The young quarterback said it's viable for each player to rank near the top of his position in contract value, noting how the NFL salary cap consistently has risen in recent years (six straight seasons with an increase of at least $10 million). Prescott is correct in his belief, but that doesn't mean it will be an easy process to figure out the details of the respective contracts. The Cowboys didn't have any holdouts from mandatory minicamp in June.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside WR-PHI
Making bid for red-zone work

Arcega-Whiteside dominated red-zone drills during the Eagles' offseason program, according to Mike Kaye of

ANALYSIS: At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, the second-round pick is coming off a senior season with 14 of Stanford's 29 touchdown receptions, including a slew of contested catches in the red zone. Far from a one-year wonder, Arcega-Whiteside also hit pay dirt nine times in 2017 for a run-heavy Cardinal offense that threw for just 23 scores. He now faces a difficult path to regular snaps in Philadelphia, where Alshon Jeffery (ribs), DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor (lower body) will form the regular grouping in three-wide formations. Arcega-Whiteside's best chance at an immediate role entails the red zone, an area that's accounted for just 12 of Jackson's 53 career touchdown catches.

Robbie Gould K-SF
Ends standoff with four-year deal

Gould is signing a four-year, $19 million contract with the 49ers, Tom Pelissero of reports.

ANALYSIS: The deal includes two years and $10.5 million fully guaranteed, replacing the franchise tag that Gould refused to sign. He apparently backed off with his trade request once the 49ers offered him a contract that ranks second to only Justin Tucker's among NFL kickers. The 36-year-old made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts (96 percent) and 55 of 59 extra-point tries (93.2 percent) the past two seasons in San Francisco, finishing top 10 in kicker fantasy scoring both years.

Deon Yelder TE-KC
Dealing with hamstring injury

Yelder missed OTAs and June minicamp with a hamstring injury, Brooke Pryor of The Kansas City Star reports.

ANALYSIS: The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 24-year-old, who can compete for the No. 2 tight end spot behind Travis Kelce now that Demetrius Harris is in Cleveland. Yelder's competition comes in the form of John Lovett, whose versatility is very appealing to the Chiefs' staff. Yelder caught on with Kansas City as an undrafted rookie last season and only saw eight snaps -- just one of those on offense -- over three games. At Western Kentucky, Yelder found some success in his senior season, racking up 52 receptions for 688 yards and seven touchdowns over 12 games.

Melvin Gordon RB-LAC
Still working toward extension

Gordon said Saturday he still hopes to work things out with the Chargers, Jeff Miller of The Los Angeles Times reports. "Like, that's the team who blessed me with an opportunity," Gordon said. "But it's an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid. That's just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger."

ANALYSIS: Despite his generally favorable view of the team, Gordon's recent threat of a holdout or trade demand suggests he and the Chargers remain far apart on financial details of a contract extension. Although it helps Gordon's case that the team is well stocked for another playoff run around a 37-year-old quarterback, the Chargers presumably are hesitant to commit to a 26-year-old at a position where most players flame out by their late 20s. Gordon did reach a new level of per-game and per-touch efficiency last season, but he also missed four contests in the process of eclipsing 200 touches for a sixth straight year (dating back to college). Recent NFL history shows few running backs that have been able to maintain that type of workload for longer than Gordon already has. As things currently stand, he's scheduled for a $5.6 million salary in 2019 under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. His agent has acknowledged the possibility of a holdout stretching into the regular season if Gordon doesn't receive his desired extension or trade.

Braxton Berrios WR-NE
Making bid for roster spot

Berrios looked good at spring practices, putting himself in advantageous position to secure a roster spot,'s Mike Reiss reports.

ANALYSIS: The 2018 sixth-round pick returned for the Patriots' offseason program in good health after spending his entire rookie season on injured reserve with an undisclosed issue. The team lacks sure things at wide receiver beyond Julian Edelman, but there's enough depth that Berrios could still miss out on a roster spot if his strong work from May and June doesn't carry over to July and August. His odds largely depend on the health of Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) and the suspension status of Josh Gordon, though strong work in the return game could give Berrios a strong case even if he isn't immediately needed on offense.

Troy Fumagalli TE-DEN
Expected to compete for depth role

Fumagalli is expected to compete with Jake Butt (knee) for the No. 3 tight end spot, Mike Klis of NBC Sports Denver reports.

ANALYSIS: Fumagalli missed his rookie year with a sports hernia injury, but he's made a full recovery and is ready for the 2019 season. Butt is still recovering from a torn ACL but has been cleared to participate in training camp. Regardless, both Butt and Fumagalli will be limited in fantasy this season, as Denver drafted Noah Fant in the first round of the 2019 draft and re-signed Jeff Heuerman to a two-year contract in March.

Chris Herndon TE-NYJ
Appealing four-game suspension

Herndon will appeal his four-game suspension, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.

ANALYSIS: Reports earlier this summer suggested the tight end likely would face a two-game suspension after pleading guilty to a DWI charge from last summer. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the league decided on four games instead of two because a woman at the scene of the car accident claimed bodily harm caused by the crash. Herndon presumably hopes to have the length of his suspension reduced to two or three games.

Derrius Guice RB-WAS
Injures hamstring

Guice (knee) injured his hamstring and now appears questionable for training camp, Erin Hawksworth of 106.7 The Fan reports.

ANALYSIS: Any player in the first season back from a major knee/leg/foot injury faces heightened risk of other lower-body issues. Guice reportedly was on track for the start of training camp before this new development, though he was limited to individual drills and a rehab program throughout OTAs and minicamp. In addition to the health concerns, Guice faces tough competition for playing time in a backfield that also has Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson on hand. Running backs coach Randy Jordan said in June that he envisions a 50-50 or 60-40 carry split between Guice and Peterson. A return to health for the preseason would give Guice a better shot to tilt the Week 1 workload split in his favor.

Chris Herndon TE-NYJ
Suspended four games

Herndon has been suspended for the first four games of the 2019 regular season, Tom Pelissero of reports.

ANALYSIS: Herndon was charged with DWI last summer and pleaded guilty in January. He'll be eligible to participate in training camp and preseason before missing the first four games of the regular season. With the Jets on bye Week 4, the 23-year-old tight end won't be able to play until Week 6 against the Cowboys (Oct. 13). Eric Tomlinson, Daniel Brown and Trevon Wesco are the other tight ends on New York's roster.

Gehrig Dieter WR-KC
Well positioned for roster spot

Dieter has a good chance to stick on the 53-man roster, offering value on both offense and special teams, according to Brooke Pryor of The Kansas City Star.

ANALYSIS: A possible suspension for Tyreek Hill further helps Dieter's case, and it doesn't hurt that he's close friends with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Alabama product spent most of 2017 and 2018 on Kansas City's practice squad, eventually landing on the active roster last November after Sammy Watkins injured his foot. Dieter logged just 32 offensive snaps and one reception in four regular-season games, but he also played 46 snaps on special teams, showing enough to remain active for the playoffs after Watkins returned. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are the top candidates to earn snaps behind Hill/Watkins, but Dieter, Marcus Kemp and Byron Pringle also figure to get their chances this summer.

Cameron Artis-Payne RB-CAR
Facing backup competition

Artis-Payne faces competition for backup work from Jordan Scarlett, Elijah Hood (knee), Elijah Holyfield and Reggie Bonnafon, Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer reports.

ANALYSIS: The Panthers have talked about reducing Christian McCaffrey's workload, but a lack of investment in their backfield points toward another season full of lofty snap counts. Artis-Payne is the only other Carolina tailback with an NFL carry to his name, while Scarlett has the advantage of being a recent draft pick (2019 fifth-round pick). There's no runaway favorite to earn the No. 2 job, and it's still possible the Panthers bring in a veteran to improve the competition.

Duke Johnson RB-CLE
Signs with Drew Rosenhaus

Johnson signed Thursday with agent Drew Rosenhaus, hoping his new representative can facilitate a trade, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

ANALYSIS: Johnson separated from his old representation earlier this week, apparently frustrated to still be on the Cleveland roster months after he first asked for a trade. He said the desire to play elsewhere is motivated by his knowledge that the Browns tried to trade him back in February when they signed Kareem Hunt (suspension). Unsatisfied with the offers, Cleveland then pivoted to keeping Johnson around, with potential to reopen trade negotiations later. Rosenhaus reportedly helped facilitate the trade that sent DE Emmanuel Ogbah from Cleveland to Kansas City after the Browns acquired Olivier Vernon. Johnson's situation is trickier, as he's entering the first season of a three-year, $15.6 million contract, including $5 million in bonuses the Browns have already paid, per The Browns seem serious about extracting significant compensation, knowing that any team acquiring Johnson would have him on a reasonable three-year contract with no guarantees beyond 2019.

Melvin Gordon RB-LAC
Could skip regular-season games

Gordon's agent said there's a "strong possibility" the running back will hold out into the regular season if he doesn't receive a new contract, Tom Pelissero of reports.

ANALYSIS: Gordon reportedly will ask for a trade if he doesn't get his contract before July 24 when the Chargers report to training camp. The team still hopes to reach an agreement, but Gordon's public reveal of his plan for a holdout suggests the two sides are far apart on money. Despite missing four games last season, the 26-year-old achieved personal bests in a slew of statistical categories, including yards per carry (5.1), yards per target (7.4), scrimmage yards per game (114.6) and total touchdowns (14). Backup running back Austin Ekeler also had an efficient campaign, but he struggled when tasked with a larger role, averaging 3.2 YPC and 3.8 YPT in three starts. Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome are the other leading candidates to see carries if things ultimately don't work out between Gordon and the Chargers.

Melvin Gordon RB-LAC
Preparing for holdout or trade

Gordon doesn't plan to report to training camp unless he signs a contract extension first, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

ANALYSIS: The 26-year-old is scheduled for a $5.6 million salary in 2019 under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. It's a nice bargain for the Chargers after Gordon answered long-standing concerns about his efficiency with impressive marks of 5.1 yards per carry and 7.4 yards per target last season, though he missed four games along the way. His agent, Fletcher Smith, told ESPN he'll demand a trade if Gordon doesn't receive his desired contract before the start of training camp in late July.

Jeremy Hill RB-
Hoping for signing soon

Hill (knee) anticipates signing with a team once he receives medical clearance, Herbie Teope of The New Orleans Advocate reports.

ANALYSIS: Hill tore the ACL in his right knee during a Week 1 game with the Patriots last season, after beating out Mike Gillislee for a roster spot. The 27-year-old running back never lived up to the promise of his impressive rookie season, but he may still have something to offer as a bruiser for short-yardage situations and clock-killing work. Even so, Hill will face an uphill battle to earn a spot on the 53-man roster if/when he signs with an NFL team.